A short-term study in sheep with the Groningen temporomandibular joint prosthesis

J.-P. van Loon*, L.G.M. de Bont, F.K.L. Spijkervet, G.J. Verkerke, R.S.B. Liem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


As part of the pre-clinical testing process of a newly developed temporomandibular joint (TMJ) prosthesis, animal experiments were performed. In 14 sheep, the right TMJ was replaced by the developed TMJ prosthesis. The prosthesis consisted of a skull part, a mandibular part and an intervening polyethylene disc. In the first series (6 sheep), three designs were tested, differing in the applied metal (stainless steel or titanium) and in the fitting method of the skull part (a fitting member or bone cement). The sheep were sacrificed after 8-16 weeks. In the second series (8 sheep), the preferred titanium fitting member design was applied, and the sheep were sacrificed after 2-10 weeks. One sheep was excluded because no correct position of the prosthesis parts could be achieved. At sacrifice, the removal torque of the screws was measured, and the surrounding tissues were harvested for histologic examination. The sheep recovered well and functioned until the end of the scheduled sacrifice date. Encountered problems were two disc dislocations, one fistula formation, and one screw failure. All mandibular parts were clinically stable, as were most skull parts with a fitting member, and one of both skull parts fitted with bone cement. The clinically observed stability was confirmed by the removal torque values, which indicated well-integrated screws. It is concluded that the TMJ prosthesis could remain stable and functional over the initial healing period. The main restriction of the sheep model is the much larger translatory capacity compared with patients, which adversely influences tissue healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-324
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Design
  • Groningen TMJ prosthesis
  • In vivo tests
  • TMJ prosthesis


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